March 18, 2010

Boulder, CO Votes to Keep Dispensary Regulations until July

March 18, 2010

The City Council of Boulder, CO voted unanimously yesterday to keep temporary regulations on dispensaries in place thru July 7th. The previously passed ordinance (see link) has the following requirements:

1. Require licensing and application fees from $4,000 to $6,000. Some people might argue that these are the same prices that liquor stores pay. However, I would counter argue that liquor stores don’t operate under such a hostile legal environment, and don’t have to earmark legal expenses as part of their monthly operating expenses.

2. Allows the City Manager to deny the application of someone who is not of “good moral character.” This is extremely subjective, and begs for abuse by the City Manager’s office. Either you are on his ‘good’ list and you can operate, or you are on his ‘naughty’ list and he shuts you down. This will bread corruption, litigation, and inefficiency.

3. Require that all distribution of medical cannabis is done by the patient’s primary caregiver. This provision sucks because it will make the patient a hostage of their caregiver. If the caregiver is legit then there is nothing to worry about. But there are lots of dicks out there that stiff patients due to visions of grandeur, and a this requirement will just perpetuate such activity.

4. Limit the density of medical marijuana facilities so there can be no more than 3 within 500 feet. I have never been to Boulder, so I am not sure how dense of a metro area it is. Maybe readers can share some light if this is reasonable or f’d??

5. Limit the size of businesses to 3000 square feet or less. This provision doesn’t seem too unreasonable, it prevents ‘super centers.’ I don’t think a ‘Marijuana WalMart’ is a good idea for society; keep big business out of it.

6. Require individual security systems, including 24-hour security cameras. Quality businesses have this already, so that’s not too unreasonable. There are thief-tweakers everywhere these days.

7. Allow unannounced searches of dispensaries by law enforcement without warrant or probable cause. This is the worst provision in history. Just because you operate a medical marijuana facility doesn’t mean that you should have to give up basic civil rights!

8. Keep strict records. Businesses should be doing this anyways. Good bookkeeping is the backbone of business.

9. The business would have to prove that “no more marijuana was in the medical marijuana business than allowed by applicable law for the number of patients who designated the medical marijuana business holders as their primary caregiver.” This is reasonable, considering it is what voters originally intended. If the voters approved ‘X’ amount per card, then that is what it should be. To argue that you should be allowed more is ridiculous, considering everyone knew the rules ahead of time. If people have a problem with the limits, get that part of the bill amended at the state level; the city can’t do anything about it.

The emergency ordinance has been in place since it was approved earlier this year, and a permanent ordinance is scheduled to be read a second time, including a public hearing, on May 4.


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